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19.10.2005 General News

18 is the acceptable marriageable age in Ghana

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Accra, Oct. 19, GNA - Mr Asamoah Amoako, a legal practitioner, has reminded participants at a forum on "International Protection Women's Rights", that the accepted marriageable age in Ghana is 18 years. He said the African human rights protection system encouraged monogamy as the preferred form of marriage and registration of marriages.

Mr Amoako stressed the need for marriage couples to facilitate equal rights at home and regard each other as partners in marriage at the forum organised by the Friedrich Nuamann Foundation. He said a woman had the right to decide the number of children she would like to have, the kind of contraception she wanted to use and the right to retain her maiden name or use that of her husband. "It must be stressed that women's rights have been recognized and guaranteed in all international human rights instruments." On divorce or separation, Mr Amoako said should there be a need for separation or divorces in marriage, whilst the interest of the children involved must be priority to any decision made. "Again men and women must enjoy the same rights when there is separation or divorce".

Despite these some women have their rights curtailed by reason of sex and marital status.

Mr Amoako said women were often portrayed as sexual object, forgetting that they had very great potentials that needed to be developed.

He noted that publications that portrayed women in nudity as sex objects and other pornographic materials were likely to promote inhuman treatment for women and violation of their rights. Commenting on widows, Mr Amoako said they must enjoy all human rights including the right to re-marry persons of their choice. He called for special protection for elderly women and urged women whose rights had been violated to report to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Police Service for appropriate actions to be taken.

"Protection of women's right can be ensured when there is democracy and rule of law."

Mr Yonny Kulendi, a lawyer, advised women to share responsibility in the home since that could earn them a lot of respect from their husbands.

"Let your husband know that he is married to a partner not a servant," he added.

He also urged women not to keep quiet over domestic abuse in the name of culture or religion, adding that culture was dynamic and it should be seen as such.